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    11-7. Regular concrete instead of Gypcrete for poured floors for radiant - Electronic Edition

    11-7. Regular concrete instead of Gypcrete for poured floors for radiant - Electronic Edition
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     Reader Jean-Michel B. of Chelan, Washington, an engineer, opted for in-floor radiant heat instead of a forced air system. He made quite a study of one of the costly aspects of the typical system, pumped Gypcrete as the matrix into which the radiant tubes are laid:

     “We did in-floor radiant heating as well. I’m an engineer. Gypcrete sets very quickly, and the heat transmissivity is very poor. I choose to beef up the joists, and use true Portland cement, one and a half inches thick. We put double plates on the deck to make the door thresholds. We did it in the daylight basement as well. First I put pink rigid foam, laid in the pipes and poured the basement. We just anchored the pipes in the foam. Semirigid white translucent pipe, which ages very slowly. You need no couplings in the concrete. We filled them with water to make them heavy and stapled them to the foam. Upstairs we put Visqueen over 3/4” OSB board, over silent joists that were 12 inches and stronger. We laid down the pipes, clamped them by screwing through the subfloor, and poured concrete using wheelbarrows.”

     “We used a very soupy pea graveled six-bag mix plus fiber. We only got hairline cracks at two doorways. My HVAC was going to be $8,000. And I did whole-house radiant for $10,000 with a 24-KW boiler. We used 3-4 yards of concrete in an 1,800 s.f. area. We did half one day, and half the next. It took an hour and a half per pour. Only $70 per cubic yard at the time for this special concrete. The chute from the truck came inside the house. We set pathways to go across with OSB sheets to keep from squashing the pipes while we moved the concrete. They even did the slope for me in the shower. We put the membrane on top of the cement and then I will tile.”

     MaryAnne and Allen Davis told us the same thing: “My sister and brother-in-law built their own house in Green River, Wyoming, where it goes to 20 below, and they did all the radiant themselves. They used regular concrete.”

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